Harris was hardly the only one who had trouble staying aboard for eight seconds. The world's top cowboys combined for just 38 successful rides while at the NFR, including a fifth round in which no successful rides were recorded — a first at …
Asay makes late run at NFR to win average titlePowell native Kanin Asay rode three of his final four bulls at the 2009 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo — including a rodeo-best 93-point ride on the NFR's final night —to capture the average title and finish the year as the No. 2 rider in the world. For the year, Asay finishes just shy of $205,000 in earnings. Roughly $15,000 separated him from 2009 world champion J.W. Harris, who became the first rider in eight seasons to successfully defend a world bull riding title. Harris was able to hold on to the title despite suffering a broken hand during the NFR's second round and failing to successfully ride a bull while in Las Vegas this year.
Harris was hardly the only one who had trouble staying aboard for eight seconds. The world's top cowboys combined for just 38 successful rides while at the NFR, including a fifth round in which no successful rides were recorded — a first at the NFR since 1997.
Five of those successful rides belonged to Asay, who became the first average champion in NFR history to ride just five bulls. That proved to be more than enough to propel the Powell rider to a 26.5-point margin of victory over Corey Navarre in the final standings. Bobby Welsh, of Gillette, was the only other rider to make the buzzer five times in Vegas.
After getting off to a hot start at the NFR by winning round one, Asay struggled in the middle rounds, registering just one good ride during nights 2-6. Asay snapped out of the slump with a 79.5-point ride in round 7, placing him fourth for the night. The following evening he rode to a score of 87 to win round 8. After a no-score on Friday night, he wrapped up the NFR in style with a monster 93-point ride in Saturday's final round.
In addition to being the high-score for the NFR and one of just two 90-point rides in this year's bull riding competition, Asay's round 10 performance earned him nearly $61,000 in prize money between the round and average titles he was awarded.